As “Black Widow” director Cate Shortland revealed GamesRadar + and Total Film, she and Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige actually had conversations about what characters from the rest of the MCU would appear in the film. However, Shortland and Feige came together to a decision that this was Natasha’s movie, and making any of the other existing Avengers look like that would only distract it.
“We did not want her to feel that she needed the support. We want her to stand alone,” Shortland explained. And so, contrary to rumors, a decision was made not to include any major Marvel heroes in the film, including Tony Stark.
While Stark’s legacy threatened much over “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” the first MCU movie to be released after “Avengers: Endgame,” he didn’t get there either. Since Peter Parker (Tom Holland) and Natasha Romanoff are two of the characters closest to Tony, it seems that Robert Downey Jr.’s time with MCU is really over with Iron Man’s death in “Endgame”. As subsequent movies and series continue to move further in time, focusing on characters who were not necessarily in Stark’s orbit, the chances of yet another surprising appearance of Iron Man become more and more slim.
“Black Widow” is currently out in theaters and can be streamed on Disney + with Premier Access.